2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 4, GUA 1
March 5, 2015
U-17 MNT head coach RICHIE WILLIAMS
On the win over Guatemala:
"We’re extremely happy to be able to come out and play against a very difficult Guatemala team and get three points. I thought our mentality was great, our approach to the game – from the first minute to the 90th minute – the group played great. Again we take one game at a time, we respect our opponent. Guatemala is a good opponent. Again credit to our guys who were able to come and get the goals we needed to get. I thought it was a good defensive performance - our goalkeeper made a couple good saves for us. Overall we’re very happy and we move on to the next game.”
On what to expect from Honduras, taking into consideration they are playing at home:
"First of all, Honduras is a very good team. I would have to think they would be the favorites – Honduras playing in Honduras, in their home country, in their stadium, with their fans. So we have to be prepared. They’re a very good team. As we saw, all the teams in the tournament are very difficult, so we cannot approach any game in an easy way. We’ll prepare. And like we said, one game at a time. Honduras is next and we’ll be ready to go come game time.”
On the strengths of the Honduras team:
“I think they are a well-rounded team. I think they are good defensively, they are good on the attack, they’re athletic and physical, and they play good soccer. Honduras is one of the best countries in our region from the senior level all the way down to the youth levels. I think they’re a well-rounded team and we have to be well prepared to go out and compete.”
On the seven lineup changes from the last game and the depth of the team:
“We said from the beginning of the tournament when we announced our roster that we felt we had a deep roster, that we trust everybody on the team – all 20 players – when they’re called upon. They’ve all played in major international matches over the last two years, so we have confidence in all the players, and they should have confidence when they step on the field. We feel like we can put any of our 20 players on the field and play well and get a good result.”
On the play of goalkeeper Will Pulisic:
“You need your goalkeeper to come up with saves. There’s going to be times where there’s breakdowns and some good combinations from their team. Will made some good saves for us, which we needed. We hope we don’t give up too many chances in a game, but if we do, we feel confident with Will in the back.”
On Josh Perez scoring a hat trick and his performance overall:
“Josh was excellent. He was aggressive, he was running at players, taking players one-on-one, taking two players on and beating them. His quickness and his technical ability showed and he was able to obviously get three goals. I thought he was dangerous all day. And on top of him attacking, I thought he played very well defensively also, putting his body on the line when they were taking some shots at him at the end. I was very happy with Josh and the rest of the team and we need that same effort come next game against Honduras.”
U.S. U-17 MNT forward JOSH PEREZ
On why he was able to score three goals:
"It was a mindset. I was mentally prepared to go out there and do my thing, and I was able to score goals. But none of it happens without the support of my teammates, who did a lot of the work to set those up and then keep us in the game.”
On his free kick goal and gaining momentum:
“It was kinda lucky in some ways. My intention was to cross it, but fortunately I hit it pretty good and it went in. I just got fired up, and after that I started to try and score goals and it came out.”
On the second goal and the pass from Christian Pulisic to set it up:
“I know that Christian is very creative, and I knew that he was just going to find me somehow – one way or another. He looked right over the defender and put the ball in and I just got through. And mentally, I just thought no one was going to stop me from there so I cut in, cut in, and shot.”
On his mom being at the game:
“For me her being here was a beautiful moment for me. She gives me all the support I need, so I dedicated those three goals to her.”
U.S. U-17 MNT midfielder ERIC CALVILLO
On the team’s approach to the game:
“We expected to come out strong, which we did. Coach talked about how maybe we were a little relaxed in the second game, and today we wanted to come out strong before Guatemala could come at us.”
On having seven different starters from the last game and not missing a beat:
"Coach always tells us that we’re a really good team, that we’re stacked - not one, but two in every position. We have guys that come off the bench when we need them and do good work, and guys that can start any game. And we saw that today.”
On being able to score early and take a lead:
“We always say that we have to get that first goal, that’s the goal that we need. Once you get that first goal then the rest keep coming. We still have to have that mindset to keep the shutout, but unfortunately today wasn’t the day.”
U.S. U-17 MNT goalkeeper WILL PULISIC
On seeing more action versus Guatemala than the first two games:
"I’m always ready, that’s my job to back my team up. I’m expecting to get some shots and I’m expecting to make the saves I can make.”
On the giving up the first goal of the tournament in the third game:
“We always want to keep a shutout, but in the end scoring four goals is good. To give up one, it hurts but we’ll move on and learn from it. We’re just happy we won the game.”
On if a goalkeeper can feed off the offense to stay ready:
“Yea, of course. Whenever you score a goal you get excited, you get more into the game, and it gets you going. Whenever we score I’m happy.”
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (March 5, 2015) – Forward Josh Perez scored three goals in the opening half and the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated Guatemala 4-1 in Group A action at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship at Estadio Francisco Morazán.
Perez became the second player to record a hat trick in the tournament, following in the footsteps of Joe Gallardo who posted three goals in the USA’s opening 5-0 victory against Cuba.
With the win, the U.S. is now one victory away from clinching first place in the group and, most importantly, a berth to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The USA next faces Honduras at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 8, at Estadio Francisco Morazán (FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Sports GO, Univision Deportes).
Earlier Thursday in Group A play, Jamaica and Cuba drew 1-1. Jamaica moved to 1-1-1 (4 points) in the tournament and Cuba to 0-1-2 (2 points). Host side Honduras faces Trinidad & Tobago in Thursday night’s last Group A game. Prior to the start of that game, the USA (3-0-0, 9 points) holds a five-point lead over second-place Honduras (1-0-1, 4 points).
In addition to Perez’s performance, Pierre Da Silva scored his first goal of the tournament and goalkeeper Will Pulisic improved to 5-0-0 in 2015 and 3-0-0 in qualifying.
Guatemala’s Erick Soto eventually got his team on the score sheet in the 65th minute. That broke an impressive 245-minute shutout streak by the USA defense in the tournament.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Josh Perez, 10th minute: The USA gained a free kick chance from the right side. Christian Pulisic initially looked to take the free kick, but instead Perez whipped in a left-footed shot. David Ramos leaped up to try and head the ball away but was unsuccessful. Gilder Lemus was caught off guard at the near post and the shot whizzed past the Guatemala goalkeeper’s knee and into the net for an early U.S. lead. USA 1, GUA 0
USA – Josh Perez (Christian Pulisic), 19th minute: The USA wasted little time to pad its lead. Pulisic’s cheeky flick pass over a Guatemala defender on the right side set up the sequence and Perez once again was on the attack. Perez drew Fernando Fuentes and Mario Rodas on his run toward the middle and before sneaking a left-footed shot inside the right post. The assist was Pulisic’s fourth of the tournament. USA 2, GUA 0
USA – Josh Perez (penalty), 45th minute: Christian Pulisic drew a penalty kick when he split Guatemala’s Victor Valedez and Mario Rodas, with Rodas committing the foul in the box. Pulisic limped off of the field to receive medical attention, and Perez took the subsequent penalty kick. Perez drilled a low shot into the lower left side of the frame as Guatemala goalkeeper Gilder Lemus guessed the opposite way. Perez is now tied with Joe Gallardo with five international goals this year. USA 3, GUA 0
USA – Pierre da Silva (Luca de la Torre), 48th minute: De la Torre did the brunt of the work with a dribble straight up the middle of the field. The Guatemala defense was sucked into the center, and that is when he dished to Da Silva on the left side. Da Silva one-timed his shot inside the left post past Gilder Lemus for a four-goal cushion. It was Da Silva’s first goal of the tournament and 2015 and the third in his U-17 MNT career. De la Torre has three assists in qualifying. USA 4, GUA 0
GUA – Erick Soto, 65th minute: Victor Valdez sent a free kick into the box from the left side and the USA defense was unable to clear the ball out of harm’s way. Soto had an opening with a right-footed shot that bent to the right and into the inside of the post as a diving Will Pulisic had little chance to stop the shot. It was the first goal the U.S. allowed in the tournament, breaking a shutout streak of 245 minutes. USA 4, GUA 1 (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Will Pulisic, 16th minute: Guatemala had a promising set piece chance with John Mendez taking the corner kick from the left side. Pulisic stepped up well to punch the ball out of the box. Guatemala did stay active in the attack, but the USA blocked an additional attempt and maintained its early one-goal lead.
USA – Will Pulisic, 27th minute: The USA goalkeeper came up big when he batted away an Abel Lemus shot. Guatemala drove a corner kick in from the right side that skied over everyone. Lemus gathered the ball in the left side of the box. He quickly fired toward the left of the frame and Pulisic stretched up to bat the ball over the crossbar.
GUA – Gilder Lemus, 80th and 81st minutes: With the result well in hand for the U.S., Guatemala’s goalkeeper stayed poised to limit the damage. Second-half sub McKinze Gaines shot from the left side in the 80th minute and Lemus saved at the near left post. Shortly after, Brandon Vazquez attempted a bending shot from outside the box and Lemus dove to his left for another stop.
Next on the Schedule:
The U-17 MNT prepares for its fourth Group A match against Honduras at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 8, at Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula.
Broadcast information: FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Sports GO, Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp)
- The U-17 MNT is now 6-1-0 in international play this year.
- The USA moved to 5-0-0 all-time against Guatemala in this tournament’s history.
- Head coach Richie Williams’ starting lineup featured seven changes from the USA’s 2-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago.
- Will Pulisic returned for his third straight start in the tournament at goalkeeper.
- The defensive line featured three changes, while Matthew Olosunde started at right back for a third consecutive game. The rest of the back line featured Tyler Adams on the left and a center back duo of Daniel Barbir and Alexis Velela. Barbir made his first appearance in qualifying. Velela started for the second time and Adams earned his first start after coming off the bench in the first two games.
- The midfield in the USA’s 4-3-3 formation included the third consecutive start for Christian Pulisic in an attacking role. Luca de la Torre started for a second straight game and Eric Calvillo returned to the starting lineup. Calvillo, who also started in the opening victory against Cuba, wore the captain’s armband.
- The USA went with an entirely different starting front line, with Brandon Vazquez at center for Joe Gallardo, Josh Perez on the right wing for Haji Wright and Pierre Da Silva on the left for Alejandro Zendejas. It was Perez’s second start of the tournament and the first starts for Vazquez and Da Silva.
- The USA has started 18 different players in the three games. The only two who have not earned starts are forward McKinze Gaines and goalkeeper Kevin Silva.
- Christian Pulisic leads the U-17 MNT with 32 international caps in this cycle dating back to 2013.
- Defender John Nelson entered the game to open the second half, replacing Christian Pulisic, who took a knock to set up the USA’s penalty kick late in the first half. Adams pushed up into the midfield.
- In the 51st minute, Tommy McCabe entered for Olosunde.
- Gaines was the final sub, replacing Perez in the 77th minute. Gaines has appeared in all seven U-17 MNT matches this year, and he has come off the bench in all three qualifying games.
- U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Guatemala U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: March 5, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship
Venue: Estadio Francisco Morazán; San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
Weather: 88 degrees; Clear, humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 1 4
GUA 0 1 1
USA – Josh Perez 10th minute
USA – Josh Perez (Christian Pulisic) 19
USA – Josh Perez (penalty) 45
USA – Pierre Da Silva (Luca de la Torre) 48
GUA – Erick Soto 65
USA: 1-Will Pulisic; 2-Matthew Olosunde (16-Thomas McCabe, 51), 4-Alexis Velela, 15-Danny Barbir, 18-Tyler Adams; 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.), 8-Luca de la Torre, 10-Christian Pulisic (3-John Nelson, 46); 11-Josh Perez (13-McKinze Gaines, 77), 19-Brandon Vazquez, 17-Pierre Da Silva
Subs Not Used: 5-Hugo Arellano, 7-Haji Wright, 9-Joe Gallardo, 12-Kevin Silva, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 20-Alejandro Zendejas
Head Coach: Richie Williams
GUA: 12-Gilder Lemus; 2-David Ramos, 4-Fernando Fuentes (capt.), 5-Mario Rodas, 17-Abel Lemus (19-Oliver Diaz, 53); 6-Stefan Behrens, 10-John Mendez, 11-Diego Raymundo (14-Erick Soto, 51), 13-Victor Valdez; 7-Esteban Garcia, 20-Richard Rodriguez (16-Moises Orellana, 58)
Subs Not Used: 1-Angel Castro; 3-Ganzalo Deras, 8-Alvaro Velasquez, 9-Francisco Spross, 15-Armando Aroche, 18-Juan Diego Riley
Head Coach: Juan Manuel Funes
Stats Summary: USA / GUA
Shots: 15 / 8
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 / 4
Fouls: 11 / 15
Offside: 0 / 1
GUA –Diego Raymundo (caution) 23rd minute
GUA – Mario Rodas (caution) 69
GUA – Estaban Garcia (caution) 73
Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Paredes (MEX)
Fourth Official: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Josh PerezRead more
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team has gained control of Group A at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
The USA (2-0-0, 6 points) hopes to maintain its strong start when it faces Guatemala (1-1-0, 3 points) at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 5, at Estadio Francisco Morazán. The game will be live on FOX Sports 2.
The U.S. is coming off a 2-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago that included a first-half goal from Joe Gallardo and a second-half tally from Haji Wright. Gallardo is the tournament’s leading goal scorer with four scores.
Guatemala is coming off a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Jamaica on Monday. The score was tied at 1-1 until Jamaica’s Donovan Dawkins scored the game-winner in second-half stoppage time.
Here is the USA’s history against Guatemala at this tournament:
- The USA has posted a perfect 4-0-0 record against Guatemala in this tournament, including three shutout victories. The U.S. has outscored Guatemala 13-1.
- The U.S. defeated Guatemala 1-0 on Nov. 12, 1988, at the CONCACAF U-16 Championship in Puerto España, Trinidad & Tobago.
- At the 1992 CONCACAF U-16 Championship, the USA earned a 3-0 win on Aug. 14 during its 3-0-0 performance in Group C play.
- The USA took first place in Group A with a 3-0 win against Guatemala on March 9, 2003, at the CONCACAF U-17 Tournament in Guatemala City.
- At the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, the USA won Group C with a 1-0 victory against Guatemala on April 11. Corey Baird’s 49th-minute goal off of a Rubio Rubin assist held up as the U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals.